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Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding America Hostage

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Dr. MoenschMy father, a psychiatrist whose practice focused on the severely mentally ill, used to say, "Well, schizophrenia is better than no phrenia," and, "In poker, a paranoid always beats one of a noid." He also pioneered the subspecialty of forensic psychiatry, before it had a name, in that he was often asked as an expert witness to evaluate psychopaths and the competency of criminals to stand trial.

Not all criminals are psychopaths, and certainly not all psychopaths have violated the law. Serious mental illnesses are family tragedies not to be trivialized. But in ruminating about a post-election America, I've been struck by how large portions of the country are mired in schizophrenic distortions of reality and how prominent business leaders and politicians overtly display personality traits common to psychopaths. Vestiges of widespread mental illness abound.

Although hurricane Sandy has likely been the trigger for a sharp rise in the percentage of the population who believes the climate crisis is serious and must be addressed in public policy, still, about 30 percent of American adults don't believe it, and there is no indication that the leaders of the Republican Party have joined the "Reality" Party. Let's briefly outline how disconnected this position is.

Eighty international scientific societies have endorsed the concept of a primarily human-caused climate crisis that is already starting to threaten the health and well-being of millions, and soon to be billions, of people in the next few decades. The total number of scientific organizations that dispute this is zero. If you were watching a basketball game where the score was 80 to 0, with one minute left in the fourth quarter, and you decided to bet your entire nest egg on that losing team, no one would argue that you were not severely delusional.

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